Ira Cohen is one of the most outstanding artists of our time. Famous for his mylar images which he created in the late 60's in his loft on the Lower East Side, New York City. Among the artists reflected in his mirror were John McLaughlin, William Burroughs, Jimi Hendrix and Angus Maclise. A culmination of the photographer’s fascination with the mirror, these photographs come from the very heart of the mirror from the fabled other side. Located somewhere between Man Ray and Max Ernst, the photographs of Ira Cohen provide a wealth of archetypal images which are not only the real icons of the sixties, but also the icons of the future.
“Looking at your pictures is like looking through butterfly wings”
“Poetic extravagance and poisonous beauty”
In 1970 he went to the Himalayas where he started the Starstream poetry series under the Bardo matrix imprint in Kathmandu, publishing the work of Paul Bowles, Charles Henri Ford, Gregory Corso and Angus MacLise and developing his art of bookmaking working with native craftsmen. In 1972 he spent a year in San Francisco reading and performing and then returned to New York mounting photographic shows.
Cohen is the artistic director of Universal Mutant, Inc., a foundation established with the help of Judith Malina, Gerard Malanga, and Will Swofford in order to promote and protect the works of insolite / occult / alternative writers, filmmakers and interdisciplinary artists.
In 2006 Cohen’s mylar photographs were included in the exhibition “Summer of Love”, organized by Tate Liverpool, touring throughout Europe and to the Whitney Museum in New York.